About Melanie F
Lives in Chicago, Illinois
Since Jul 2010
I took my first plane ride at a mere two weeks of age and have been passionate about travel ever since. A published poet and working journalist, when not traveling I'm obsessing about where to go next, or writing about where I've been.
Nature & Wildlife Areas, Zoos
Game & Entertainment Centres
Nature & Wildlife Areas
Lessons & Workshops, Performances
Although you might not want to run into some of these critters while enjoying the beach, the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium is the perfect place to become acquainted with the wonderful creatures of the sea. Kids of all ages will love seeing sharks, dolphins, manatees, sea turtles, and 100 plus additional species of marine life.
Whether you're looking to learn how to water ski, or simply want to watch a show, Sarasota Ski-A-Rees is the place to do both. For adults and kids alike who are interested in water skiing and water safety, come check out the group who's been making waves on the the Sarasota Bay for almost 60 years now.
If you're looking to get the kids to disconnect from their phones and handheld electronics for a while, then The Children's Garden is the place to do just that. Located in a two acre garden, the Children's Garden includes an array of outdoor play areas, like the Butterfly Garden and the Monster Garden, classes in nature, gardening, and art; playground structures, tree-houses, a pirate ship, and so much more that even adults will wish they were kids again.
Lions and tigers and bears — oh, and primates, birds, and tortoises too! The Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary was founded by Kay Rosaire who began rescuing big cats in 1987. With more than 35 big cats that now call this sanctuary their home, they take in any animal that needs a home, and offer educational programs to children and adults alike.
One of the most popular Sarasota tourist attractions since the 1930's, the Sarasota Jungle Gardens are located on a sprawling ten-acre area of tropical land. Bring the kids to learn about some of the garden's 150-plus native and exotic animals — critters like parrots, primates, small mammals, snakes, lizards, alligators, crocodiles, and many more.
After a day laying around in the bright Florida sun, there's nothing better than skating, to shake that sand off of yourself and the kids! Have fun while getting a great workout in the futuristic looking Stardust Skate Center. Kids and adults alike will feel like rock stars amid a wild light show and array of great music.
Sarasota certainly has an array of fabulous beaches to choose from, and one of the favorites of many families is Lido Beach. Located on Lido Key, this stunning white-sand beach is at the ready to comply with sand castle architects and sun bathing beauties alike.
One of the oldest state parks in all of Florida, Myakka River State Park, also happens to be one of the biggest, taking up about 37,000 acres. Whether you're interested in biking, hiking, fishing, canoeing, or just checking out the wildlife, you can do it all here. Stay for a few hours, or for a few days, in your own tent or one of the cabins on site, and get back in touch with nature.
One of the best ways to wow the kids while on vacation in Sarasota is by taking them to the circus! Circus Sarasota's performances are world famous; they know exactly how to put on the best version of the greatest show on Earth!